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Blizzard! The Storm that Changed America

by Jim Murphy

Published by Scholastic Press, 2000
136 pages
ISBN: 0-590-67309-2

Ages 9 - 14

When it started to rain on Sunday, March 11, 1888, no one suspected that the rain would soon turn to snow and that, accompanied by strong winds, it would eventually become a blizzard of mammoth proportions. More than 400 people perished in the four-day snow storm, which brought the east coast to a complete standstill. Jim Murphy weaves together more than a dozen personal stories of survivors to provide a dramatic first-hand account of the various responses individuals had to the blizzard of 1888. These accounts are combined with reports from the many newspapers that wrote about the event, often with a flare for hyperbole. Documentary photographs and line drawings from the time also give readers a sense of the enormity of the storm, which went on to have a great impact on public policy in both local and national government. The storm inspired city governments to create plans for snow removal and other future emergencies, for example, and helped push through the plans for New York City's subway system. On a national level, it led to the establishment of the modern-day United States Weather Bureau. But on a personal level, the storm left individual memories of both heroes and scoundrels, as ordinary folks tried to carry on with their day-to-day lives amidst the endless mountains of snow. CCBC categories: Historical People, Places, and Events.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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